Saia names scholarship recipients

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Saia Inc. announced the names of 12 recipients receiving scholarships totaling $18,000 as part of the company’s 2009 Scholarship Award Program. Since its inception in 2003, the program has awarded a total of $105,000 to 70 students. Saia’s Scholarship Program is designed to reinforce the importance of higher education and as a benefit to company employees. It is open to full-time employees attending college and/or their dependents who are designated full-time students.

The six students awarded a $2,000 scholarship are Athena Gilson, San Diego; Luis Guajardo, Laredo, Texas; Robert Johns, Clearlake, Calif.; Brandon Karl, Barberton, Ohio; Felecia Kline, Ramer, Tenn.; and Lindsay Schulz, Omaha, Neb.

The six students awarded a $1,000 scholarship are Martha Hensel, Mableton, Ga.; Christi Grudier, Beaumont, Texas; Jordan Hunter, St. Helens, Ore.; Marc Rachel, Wichita Falls, Texas; Caroline Ruiz, Mandeville, La.; and Alecia Smith, Pinconning, Mich.

“The response the program received this year was considerable,” says Rick O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Saia, based in Johns Creek, Ga. “The number of applications sent in shows the desire of students to build a bright future for themselves and in some cases, their families. We feel it an honor to be able to support our employees and their dependents in this manner — especially during tough economic times.”

Applications to the program are reviewed by a selection committee who evaluate each student’s academic achievement, essay quality, community service, leadership capabilities, communication skills and recommendation letters. Scholarships are awarded based on achievement in one or more of three areas: Academic Merit, Community Service and/or Innovation.